[anzac] "OH BOY - THEY PROPHESY!"

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From: "ANZAC Prophetic List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 12:37:18 -0600
Date sent:      Thu, 11 Mar 2004 13:49:43 -0600
From:           <ruachstream@...>

"Oh Boy - They Prophesy!"
-sent by M. Pranger.

"Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged
no-one, we have corrupted no-one, we have exploited
no-one." (2 Cor. 7:2).

It may seem strange to begin an article with this,
especially when some well-meaning people are
convinced that I have a prophetic calling.  The tree is
known by its fruit, I hope.  It is true that the Creator,
Adonai literally caused me to be anointed for this
ministry eight years ago, by a group of three elders
who didn't know what had come over them. But since
that time I have very consciously distanced myself
from the title prophet or from claiming to have a
prophetic ministry.  At first I thought it was cool and
wanted to be seen in that light.  Or was it just that I
wanted to be seen?

Yet the more I got to know this little world of the
prophetic, especially in evangelical circles, the more
I wanted to distance myself from it.  I don't mean the
calling, which came from the Creator, Adonai; that is
still real right up to this day.

What I don't like is the way the title "prophet" is used,
or the manner in which people handle the prophetic. 
It seems like one big show from people who are 'oh so
spiritual'. People come with words which they say are
from God, and that could sometimes be the case, but
they are then interpreted in accordance with the
particular preference or colour of the particular church,
ministry, hobby-horse or denomination.  Within the
content there is so much rubbish; peoples own wishes
or the wishes of the leaders rather than the undiluted word of God.

We seem often to be in a world in which criticism of the
word of a prophet, or someone in a prophetic calling,
isn't allowed because it is then God who is being
criticised. Come on!  We all know that our prophecies
are imperfect and need to be tested; and if it wasn't for
God's mercy we would all have to be stoned in
accordance with the laws of the Old Testament
because words weren't fulfilled, or they contained
mistakes, or there was just that bit too much flesh.

How often have people been ruined by prophetic words,
how often exploited!  How often has there been injustice
because of high-flown prophetic promises that weren't
fulfilled?  Just look as these two examples:

*"Ladies and gentlemen, God, yes God Himself has
spoken. We must build a bigger building. We haven't
got the money yet but you have the honour, yes the
honour to give so much more than your tithe in order
to achieve this wonderful and anointed plan that
comes straight from the throne of God."

*"I see a wonderful future for you! All your struggles
will be over and you will fly super-spiritually like a
bird over the motorway of life."

This appears very cynical but isn't it often the way it is?

Have I never, to a greater or lesser degree fallen for
these temptations?  Alas, yes.

Shouldn't we then long for revelations from God?  Doesn't
His word say to us "be eager to prophesy" and "eagerly
desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy?"
(1 Cor 14:1).

Of course we should long for this. Certainly there will
be people who function under a prophetic anointing and
certainly there will be people who hold the office of prophet.

Are there then pointers and tips that can help us to
discern between true and false?  Of course I realise I'm
now skating on thin ice. There are bookcases full of
books written on this subject and I have the silly idea
to summarise it in twelve points. Forgive me, but I'm
just trying to understand what God is saying. Okay,
so here we go:

 * A slogan to begin with: Prophecy is more than
foretelling the future, more than visions and dreams. 
It is God's word for today and the revelation about His
word, the Bible, given by Him.
 * A prophet who knows he is a prophet trusts that it
is the prophetic fruit of his ministry which will show
who he or she is, and not the name on the door, the
visiting card or the website.  He knows he is only a
tool in the hands of the Carpenter.
 * A prophet isn't interested in being popular with
people and if this does happen he will be suspicious
and ask himself if this will make him popular with God. 
His relationship with God is more precious to him
than being seen and honoured by man.
 * The prophet is not primarily concerned with the
individual, local church, city, land or world.  He is
concerned that the Kingdom of God be established
on the earth.  He certainly isn't concerned about his
own honour or ministry.
 * His spiritual relationship with God is number one
on his agenda because he knows the danger of being
in too close a relationship with a person. Why?  If
someone has a very strong soul relationship with
another, especially a leader (eg. putting him on a
pedestal, fear of the person or other strong emotional
ties) then the prophet will become, in the spiritual
world, the receiver of the "radio signals" from the soul
of the leader - his wishes, desires etc. - and bring
these forward as prophecy, because this soul
relationship overshadows the spiritual relationship with
God. This happened in the Bible with a large group of
prophets; there was only one who prophesied what
God wanted. Why?  His spiritual relationship with God
was much stronger than the soul relationship with the
leader, and it therefore overshadowed that soul
relationship so that he was able to receive the "radio
signals" from Creator Adonai.  Let this be a lesson for
every prophet.

Jeremiah 14:14 says, "Then the Lord said to me, 'The
prophets are prophesying lies in my name.  I have not
sent them or anointed them or spoken to them.  They
are prophesying visions, divinations, idolatries and the
delusions of their own minds.'"

 * A prophet is not a representative of one church, but
of the church. Unity despite differences will be very
important to him. Why? Jesus said, "that all of them
may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in
you.  May they also be in us so that the world may
believe that you have sent me." (John 17: 21) He is
therefore not so much "I" centred as "we" centred.
 * A prophet is very conscious of his own weakness
and the necessity for that. Why?  "We have this
treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing
power is from God and not from us." (2 Cor. 4:5-7)  His
words will not, for the most part, be a mirror of his own
weak, stumbling walk as a pilgrim on the Way, but a
reflection of the Power of the Holy Spirit, the never
ending source.
 * The prophetic word will, for the most part, be a mirror
of the Word, without being The Word; just as Creator
Adonai said in Hosea 12:10, "I spoke to the prophets,
gave them many visions and told parables through
them."  The prophet shall surprise himself more than
anybody over how multifaceted and creative God can
be in putting His message across.
 * A prophet feels the love of Yeshua for His people
and for the lost and is prepared to take risks in order to
stand between them and the Creator. Why?  Love, the
love that made Jeremiah pray, O Lord, we acknowledge
our wickedness and the guilt of our fathers; we have
indeed sinned against you.  For the sake of your name
do not despise us;  do not dishonour your glorious
throne.  Remember your covenant with us and do not
break it."  A prophet will gladly stand in the gap for the
sake of the truth but also for love's sake even if he ends
up between a rock and a hard place because of it.
People often don't understand this. Therefore he
frequently ends up stuck between the harbour wall and
the ship!
* A prophet will be very reticent about taking a particular
viewpoint when it comes to theological positions and
differences, but will point to the Word.  This is what
Jesus did in his conflict with satan: "It is written...".
And look at the way he answers John the Baptist when
he was in prison and questioning whether Yeshua
really was the Messiah.  A prophet will have a thorough
knowledge of the Word, not so much quotations but the
principals and truths contained in them.  Not a lesson
learned in the head but a knowledge flowing out of the
heart.
 * A prophet will be very reticent about saying, "Thus
says the Lord" over a word but will be more inclined to
say, "I have the impression that..."  A prophet knows
his own weakness and therefore expects his words to
be tested.
 * A prophet is thoroughly aware that his calling is
difficult to explain and above everything else he needs
to be obedient to God; freedom in the Spirit not in
order to sin but to obey. He knows very well that there
is no straightforward answer concerning what, where
and how to speak.  He is therefore not so much a man
of prayer as a man who relates to and communicates
with Creator Adonai. This goes further than prayer can. 
This in order that he can do what he must do: "Then
the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth
and said to me, 'Now I have put my words in your
mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and
kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and
overthrow, to build and to plant." (Jeremiah 1:9-10).
How He will do this is His concern.  What He says
here to Jeremiah is for every prophet but the how and
what will be a very individual task for the individual
prophet.  A prophet will then take his position on the
Way and take on the adventure with God, from God
and for God.

-Sent by Marc Pranger.
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